I learned that word from the Academy Awards last night.  From an acceptance speech, no less.

Clearly, I had to look it up immediately.


in·de·fat·i·ga·ble [in-di-fat-i-guh-buhl] ; adjective

incapable of being tired out; not yielding to fatigue; untiring.

Synonyms: tireless, inexhaustible, persevering.

Origin: 1580–90; < Latin indēfatīgābilis untiring, equivalent to in- in-3 + dēfatīgā ( re ) to tire out ( see de-, fatigue) + -bilis -ble Related forms in·de·fat·i·ga·bil·i·ty, in·de·fat·i·ga·ble·ness, noun in·de·fat·i·ga·bly, adverb


I was so proud of myself for actually listening to an acceptance speech long enough to learn a new word (without tuning out and thinking about why I was sitting there in my pajamas when I should be clearly wearing a sequined dress) that I immediately began strategizing on how I was going to fit it into a blog post this week.

And then I realized that it should totally be the title of today’s post.

Because it is all about some indefatigability.

Without further ado, I bring you an illustration of the epitome of indefatigableness.

A phone number had been plaguing my caller ID for weeks – at least three times a day, never leaving a message.  I didn’t recognize the area code, so I didn’t answer it.

Finally, I got paranoid that it could possibly be important, so I juggled Noah over to my other arm and picked up the call, all while trying to fill his sippy cup and create Ali’s lunch.

Never get paranoid, people.  It’s just not worth it.

She spoke with a chipper urgency and hurriedness that immediately indicted her of obnoxiousness.

“Hello, my name is Annoying and I am with Scarborough Research.  I would like to ask you about your opinions on radio listening, newspaper reading, and TV watching.  Blah diddy blah diddy blah diddy blah diddy.  But before I do that, I need to see if you qualify to take our survey!  So can you tell me if you or anyone in your household works for a television, radio, newspaper, or other media company?”

I can’t hang up on people – I just can’t.  So I waited until I could finally get a word in, which was approximately 2.75 days later, and in my polite southernness, I replied, “I don’t have time to take your survey right now, and we’re on the Do Not Call list.”

“Oh! Well, actually since we’re not selling anything and are simply doing consumer research, we’re not bound by the Do Not Call List.  So I need to ask you about your opinions on radio listening, newspaper reading, and TV watching.  But before I do that, I need to see if you qualify to take our survey! So can you tell me if you or anyone in your household works for a television, radio, newspaper, or media company?”

“Just because you’re not bound by the Do Not Call List doesn’t mean I all of a sudden have time to take your survey.”

“If you could just take a few minutes to tell me about your opinions on radio listening, newspaper reading, and TV watching, it would be very valuable to us! But first, I need to see if you qualify to take our survey! So can you tell me if you or anyone in your household works for a television, radio, newspaper, or media company?”

My southern niceness had worn it’s course.

“I don’t have time to take your survey.  Goodbye.”

As I reached across Noah for the hang up button, I heard… “But it will just take a minute!! But first, I need to ask if….”


For the remainder of the day, I marveled at the answer that she must have expected from me after explaining that she wasn’t bound to the Do Not Call List.

Something along the lines of,

“Oh! Well great!! If you’re legally allowed to call me and there’s no way I can prevent it, then by all means! I just fabricated 46 minutes out of thin air, and I would LOVE to answer your survey about my radio listening, newspaper reading, and TV watching!!  Oh boy oh boy I just can’t wait!!”

Focusing on this ridiculosity really helped quell my guilt over the fact that I ultimately hung up on her.

But then.

A week later, I received this in the mail:

Scarborough Research Post Card

“We will try calling again.”

I immediately felt both lost and in captivity all at once.

A sense of hopelessness pervaded my soul.

There didn’t seem to be a solution or a way out in sight.

Is there no justice in the world?  Can I not somehow communicate my complete disinterest in being a researched household??

Please, oh please! If there is any mercy and compassion within your soul, tell me how to make them stop!!!

26 thoughts on “Indefatigable.

  1. You’ve got to love the “Please talk to our interviewers when they call” at the bottom. They’re totally trying to guilt you into it now. Next time, just tell them that yes, someone in your household DOES work for a media company – technically, you’re press. That should let you out of the survey.

    Very good use of the word indefatigable, btw. :)

  2. You’re a lot nicer than I am! I just hang up. I do say, “Thank you so much but I can’t!” before I do, but I interrupt. Which is rude. But it is even more rude for them to call and to expect my time.

  3. I love Jessica’s idea! If hanging up on them doesn’t work and if they keep threatening to call – they didn’t even offer you a Starbucks gift card? – then lie. It’s OK to lie in a situation like this.

  4. Oh. My. Stars. The only thing I can think of that is worse than being on the receiving end of that call is being the person so desperate as to need that “market research” job. AND – it’s QUITE creepy for them to then send you a postcard that states that they are going to dare call AGAIN!? It’s like a way of saying… “we know where you live… you can run, but you can’t hide…” Very stalkerish… ew.

  5. Hate those guys! This has been working for us : “Please take my number off your list or I will call the FCC and report you. ” (what exactly, I will say to the FCC, I don’t know, but the threat alone scares them enough to not call again). =)

  6. I agree with Stephy_B – creepy!! The only thing I have to offer is that you were NOT rude and the only way to deal with these things is to be firm and stubborn and – dare I say – indefatigable yourself. :) The most important thing to remember is that these people have INCREDIBLY thick skins and you are not going to ruin her day if you don’t take her survey.

    So here’s what I suggest – next time they call, just say, “I don’t have time to take your survey and I won’t have time in the future. Please (this is the important part) take me off your list.” And then just keep repeating that, verbatim, until they either hang up on you (which might happen) or they agree. Then, once you have their agreement, if they call again you can say, “I have previously requested you all take me off your list. I need to speak to a manager to complain, as clearly my request was not respected.” Which will usually scare them into actually taking you off (if they didn’t the first time).

    I know this because my sister, in economy-induced desperation, took a job with one of these companies briefly after college. This is how she deals with them when they call her these days. And she also says that – from personal experience – easily offended people do not take jobs like this and rudeness and nastiness does not deter or offend the people who do. They are trained to take advantage of any weakness or hesitation you show to persuade you to answer their surveys. And you were WAY nicer than many of the people she had to call. She didn’t last long, as she felt the job was sucking out her soul. But some people clearly don’t mind. ;)

  7. Clearly this isn’t a solution for you as you are not a single young man with no dependents and too much time on his hands, but you may enjoy his approach to the rude, pushy telephone salesperson (or survey taker). When it becomes clear they are intent on polluting his day with their presence despite his polite refusals he turns the tables on them. If they are selling something he asks them question upon question about the product and any others they are offering, after which he orders nothing. For survey takers he would give lengthy responses about anything and everything without ever really answering the question. He’d time the call to see how long he could keep them trapped on the line until they would finally have to hang up on him. Hearing his accounts of the conversations always made me laugh. :-)

    1. Yes, Chris told me I should “have fun with them”. But you see, I’m much quicker to think on my fingers than while talking. I don’t think quick enough!

  8. Lol, this is why I never answer numbers I don’t recognize! If you ignore them they will eventually stop calling. We had a certain number calling us 3, 4, even 5 times a day for over a month, but I never answered and they stopped after a while. It is annoying to have the phone ringing but I have trouble hanging up on them too so I never answer. Although since you’ve already spoken to them they might think they can wear you down so maybe they will keep calling for two months. :P

  9. If I see a call from a number I don’t recognize, I don’t answer it. Then I Google the number and can often find out who it was. I figure if it’s something legitimate or important, they’ll leave a message.

  10. I have been experiencing this same thing the last few weeks. It’s driving me nuts. Although the problem with our wonderful caller is …..it rings, I answer, I pause and listen for a response, say hello again, continue to listen (as any southern girl does as not to hang up on caller), NOTHING is heard, then I hear ” if you like to make a call please hang up and try your call again” UH Ok if I made a call in the first place but I didn’t make a call in the first place!!!!THEN IT HAPPENS AGAIN!!!! 5 times last Thursday evening!!!!

  11. what cute southern charm you must have. they prey on people like you ;). when i see a number i don’t recognize or one that i know is spam, i pick up the line and then immediately hang it back up. then you don’t have as much guilt b/c you never actually talked to a person. :)

    1. Yes Market Research Interviewer is a job and has paid for many a College Education and is a perfect part time job for many who have been laid off during this tough economy.
      Everything you say is true exept for one thing; Market Research firms cannot call you household more than twice a day. Sorry it’s true, their software will not permit it.
      Unless this blog is a work of fiction, you are not being honest to your readers by stating that Scarborough Research called you four times in one day.
      If you do not wish to be bothered by such calls, ask the interviewer for their 1-800 number and request that your number be removed; it’s that easy.
      People with Media jobs count on Market Research; visit their website, you will be amazed how this type of work affects your everyday life.

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